The UK's Research Councils have proposed a revised policy on Open Access which further clarifies RCUK's definition of OA and strengthens some of the criteria that must be satisfied. In particular, the policy commits to libre Open Access as the agreed RCUK definition, and permits an embargo of not longer than 6 months except for research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.
Some other areas where the existing policy , implemented in 2006, is strengthened are:
- the defining of specific conditions for OA journals to be recognised by the Research Councils as 'Open Access Policy Compliant'
- the stipulation that the version of an article to be deposited in OA repositories is the final author version that is 'accepted for publication' (i.e. with all corrections and changes made as a result of peer review)
- the Research Councils will no longer accept embargo periods imposed by publishers, but instead stipulate an embargo period of no more than 6 months except in the case of humanities and social sciences
- a requirement for a statement from authors on how the 'underlying materials' (i.e. data, samples or models) for an article may be accessed (N.B. the materials need not necessarily be Open Access themselves)
EOS warmly welcomes this revised, strengthened policy from RCUK, especially the clarification on permitted embargo periods and the progressive and forward-looking definition of Open Access. This is a leading-edge policy that will set new standards for others to emulate.